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Besides the three desktop offline editors offered by AdWords and Bing, there are a myriad of tools, free and paid, out there available to PPC advertisers. In this lesson, I'll walk through a few options, what you would use it for and what kind of costs to expect. First we'll go through what else is available from the search engines, and then what third party tools are out there and what they could do for you. First up, AdWords. Within the AdWords user interface is where you'll find most of the free tools, and I definitely recommend checking them out. While this is not an exhaustive list, these are the tools that I recommend for new advertisers.
Let's get started. Automated rules,I love this feature. These are rules that you set within your account when certain conditions are met. The options for rules are plentiful and can be as simple as turning a campaign on and off, or as complex as changing bid percentages based on a conversion rate, or a specified period of time. Click the automate button from the campaign, ad group, add, keyword, or display tabs. And you'll be presented with a myriad of options. You;ll also be given the option to preview what the rule will do first before you turn it on.
So please be sure to do that, and see how it'll affect your account. What's next? Change history. Can't remember what you did, and need to review? No problem. Check out the change history report under the tools section of AdWords, and if that change is tanking, no problem as well. Just click the big arrow button on the far right and undo that change. This is also a great way if someone else is managing your account, to follow along or to see if they did what they said they were going to do. Not that I'm encouraging you to spy, just to be an informed consumer. Alright, next ad preview and diagnosis.
Check out what your ad would look like on a google search results page without having to google yourself and not incur any impressions or clicks. I can't tell you how many clients I've had over the years that can not stop Googling themselves. I had one guy waste almost $500 on clicks that he did on his own ads. Don't do it. You'll just drive up your impressions and subsequently, down your CTR. Use this tool instead. The Opportunities Tab. Check out any alerts, ideas, or potential new keywords you can add right from the opportunities area interface.
Take this one though with a grain of salt. Most of the opportunities are centered around increasing your spend, not your return on investment. This could be through adding more keywords, increasing a budget or loosening up a match type. I recommend reviewing the opportunities listed and picking and choosing as to what makes sense for you. Just because Google says you should do it does not make it so. Alerts. Whenever Google feels it has a batch of opportunities for you to review You'll receive an alert in the upper right hand corner. The alerts tend to be a little over zealous in their appearances.
But, I do recommend clicking on it and checking out what is being suggested, at least once a week or every other week. As, sometimes it's something very pertinent to performance. If there is something truly wrong with your account. Like, your credit card expired or your ads stopped running. You'll see a very large banner across the top of the account that you can't miss. So Bing, let's talk about them. Bing Ads has some great free tools as well. Simply click on the tools link in the upper right-hand corner of any account to access them. First up, Bing Ads Intelligence. This is an Excel plugin that requires a version of 2007 or later.
But if you're able to utilize, it's a very slick keyboard tool. The plugin can perform keyboard research based on the seed list that you provide from match type associated KPIs and estimated bits. My favorite has got to be the keyword expansion section of the tool that suggests new keywords that are associated with seed list. For example, your keyword list is on hiking equipment The tool may pull up terms around hiking travel, life hacks using hiking equipment, or foods associated with hiking. You might not be able to use all of the suggested keywords associations out of the box, but I have found it to be inspirational in finding new niches in which to expand my advertising.
The keyword distribution graft. This will show you aggregate keyword performance data in trend graphs. You can find it in the keywords section of your account. Use this tool to drill into performance areas of keyword groups. Find keywords with good ROI or ones that are costly as well as outliers, like a single keyword that is costing a lot. We're generating many impressions but no clicks, it needs to go. And change history. Just like in adwords you can view the changes made in your account over a specified period of time. You can't undo changes from this screen like you can in adwords, but if you need to know who did what and when, it's very easy to pinpoint what happened.
So that's bing, let's take a look at something else. Outside of AdWords and Bing, there are a few fields of companies that do offer additional assistance when it comes to managing aspects of PPC, I'm not going to name names, but here are the categories and what they do. Automated bid management tools tend to benefit larger accounts; think over, say, 10,000 keywords, and larger budgets. These tools can automate bidding on a per query basis based on rules you set around performance. It can also create reports much more quickly and in depth making changes to ad copy and bringing problem areas to your attention quickly with alerts.
These are complex advanced programs that come with customer support but are really for the larger advertisers. There are some smaller business solutions out there but don't expect to pay less than $1,000 per month. Tag management. If you have multiple tags, conversion, re-marketing, analytics and so on, you might consider a tag management solution. They would provide a single container tag that you would put on every page of your site and then every time you need to adjust or add anything the tags are tracking, you could do it within the tag management interface instead of having to make the changes one by one on your site.
Or employing a developer to do it for you. There is a free option with Google, but it is limiting some features. It all depends on how complex your site is, and what you're trying to do. A free solution would be plenty for small business. Enterprise solution price points vary greatly by company and level of management needed. Product feed management. If you end up doing product listing ads for Google Shopping through Google Merchant Center on the AdWords platform, there are companies out there that can help you export the feed from your shopping cart, optimize it, and upload to Google Merchant Center on a regular basis.
If you're not technically savvy, I recommend some kind of solution like this. Or a one time set up from a developer that can have your cart submit directly. You can build a feed from hand in Excel as well. If you have less than 50 products, it's certainly something to consider. Feed management costs range on how they charge. Could be by download, number of skews, or a flat fee. And if there is any minimum pricing. Expect to pay at least 50 to $100 a month for a minimal product catalog, and weekly submissions for just adverts. A plug-in or app can be anywhere from free.
They're usually quite terrible. To $400. Again, depending on complexity. There are more and more tools out there available to PPC advertisers each day. It's a huge business and industry. And a lot of the third-party tools do give free demos or trials. So check them out. In some cases, they offer a free or lite version of their product. That if your account is small enough, you can take advantage of. However, you may have trouble escaping their mailing list, but that's nothing you can't handle. And my best tip that I can offer you, ask questions. If you are struggling with something or having issues, conduct a few searches on the issue itself and you may see results for suggestions for tools like these, or even a step by step tutorial on how to fix them.
Start out with the free stuff within your Google and Bing accounts, set up a schedule in which you'll check your accounts and dedicate time to its upkeep and optimization. PPC doesn't run itself so please, don't set it and forget it.
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